Thursday, September 27, 2012
Stargate Atlantis--"The Return, Part I"
Stargate SG-1. I am quite surprised our heroes splitting up feels like such a loss. What really nails it is how the characters appear lost without each other. Sheppard leads an SG team, but finds it boring. Rodney is at Area 51. He amits in a phone call he misses Sheppard, but Sheppard hangs up rather than admit he feels the same way about Rodney. Beckett becomes the SGC doctor, which seems to suit him fine, but he becomes the one to pull Weir out of her hermitage by coaxing her to come to dinner with the rest of the main cast. There is something interesting I have noticed about Torri Higginson’s portrayal of Weir in moments when she is suffering negative emotions. Weir tucks her knees under her chin and then locks her arms around her legs. It is a defensive, fetal position--a psychological method of protecting herself. The key point about the way she sits while under stress is that she has only done it out of uniform. She has always been in civilian clothes and once a hospital gown. Weir will sit that way in front of all sorts of different people she ought to want to project strength towards, so I doubt she avoids it while wearing her uniform in order to appear strong. Rather, the uniform provides her with the strength to deal with problems stoically. The dependency on her uniform might explain why she feels so weak without it here. It my even explain why she has shifted from a pacifist to a combat ready decision maker since becoming head of the Atlantis expedition. The reunion dinner is spoile by news the Asurans have attacked Atlantis. Since Rodney rewrote their programming in the last encounter, the prohibition against harming Ancients is gone. Landry wants to know the best way to nuke the city before the Asurans decide to attack Earth, but our heroes decide to go rogue, reunite in Pegasus with Ronon and Teyla, and execute a plot to rewrite the Asuran programming again, thereby saving Atlantis while rescuing jack and Woolsey. Thus we have the to be continued in order to see if our heroes can pull out that off. Oh, and the Genii attempt to recruit ronon and Teyla, so I assume they will show up as reinforcements next episode. “The Return, Part I” is really good for its personal touches and exciting cliffhanger. The return of the Ancients and the Asurans is done so quickly and in the background, the audience hardly has time to absorb it all. I suppose that is fortunate, since the asurans choosing a time shortly after the Ancients move back in to attack is a convenient plot point. Unless there is something else about it revealed in part two. I feel pangs of sorrow at our heroes got split up and a h8ll yeah notion when they all unquestionably decide to go rogue and save Atlantis. I am anxious to find out how they pull it off. The job of the first part of a multipart episode is to do just that, so mission accomplished. I rate “The Return, Part I’ as just behind “Sateda” as the best of the season so far. Oh, and yes--Weir becomes more assertive when she dons a black ops military uniform. I tell you, she becomes a new person in uniform. It gives her the backbone to make tough decisions. Rating: **** (out of 5)